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What is UK re-entry ban and can you remove it?

Last updated: 2 May 2022

A UK re-entry ban means that a person is unable to return to the UK and will not be permitted entry at the border for a specified amount of time. Re-entry bans last for between 1 and 10 years, depending on the reason for the ban. They are issued to migrants who have breached the immigration rules or used deception when making an immigration application.

If you are refused entry to the UK, any new visa application you submit to the Home Office will be refused, and you will be turned away at the UK border if you travel here.

Why are UK Re-entry ban issued?

UK re-entry bans are issued for a number of common reasons. The Home Office imposes entry bans where they believe that individuals have breached immigration law or they have used some form of deception when applying for a visa. Some of the examples include:

  • Overstaying in the UK beyond the expiry date of your visa
  • Coming to the UK illegally
  • Breaching the conditions attached to a visa
  • Providing false documents or information in a visa or other immigration application

UK re-entry ban periods

The length of any re-entry ban is determined by a range of factors, including the immigration rules that were breached, whether the individual left the UK voluntarily, whether they were deported, and at whose expense. For example:

  • No re-entry ban will apply if the person overstays for 30 days but leaves the UK voluntarily at their own cost.
  • A person who left the UK voluntarily at their own expense after a longer period of overstaying and breached their visa conditions or used deception in their application will be subject to a re-entry ban of 12 months. If the Home Office paid for their departure, this would lead to a re-entry ban of 2 or 5 years. The 2-year re-entry period would apply if they left within 6 months of being given notice of their liability for removal by the Home Office, or 5 years if after 6 months.
  • A person who is removed or deported from the UK or used some form of deception (i.e., lied) when applying for a visa will typically receive a 10-year re-entry ban.

Re-entry bans normally start from the date that the individual departs the UK or the date of the refusal of an application where deception was used, and this can lead to a re-entry ban of 10 years.

How to remove a UK re-entry ban

It may be possible to remove or challenge a re-entry ban in limited circumstances, including where:

  • An exception applies that means you should not have received a re-entry ban
  • There are human rights or compelling reasons to lift a re-entry ban
  • The re-entry ban was unlawful (judicial review)

To understand if there any limited circumstances which can apply to your situation, speak to one of our specialist immigration solicitors on 020 3744 2797 or by email at

Exceptions to re-entry bans

There are certain circumstances under which a person should not be issued with a UK re-entry ban, including where the individual:

  • Breached the immigration rules when they were a child.
  • Overstayed after a decision to refuse an application (or cancellation of permission), and this was later withdrawn, quashed, or reconsidered by the courts or a tribunal.
  • Overstayed, but they made an application within 14 days of their leave expiring, and the Secretary of State believes that there was a good reason outside the control
  • of the applicant as to why the application could not be made in time.
  • Applies for entry clearance as a family member.
  • Did not know that the documents they submitted or the information they provided were false.
  • Is a victim of human trafficking.

It is also important to note that anyone making an application to the Home Office for permission to come to the UK as a family member (e.g. family visa) or based on their rights as a member of the EU/EEA (e.g. EU Settlement Scheme family permit) may not be affected by re-entry bans.

Human rights or compelling reasons

The immigration rules state that the Home Office must consider an application for entry to the UK if there are human rights reasons (e.g., the right to family life under Article 8). It may also be possible to apply for Leave Outside the Rules (LOTR) or Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR) if there are compelling, compassionate or exceptional circumstances. Unfortunately, many LOTR and DLR applications are not successful, except in the most compelling cases.

How to remove 10-year ban UK with a judicial review

Although you can not remove a 10-year entry ban to the UK, you can apply for a judicial review if the legal basis for the decision was incorrect. If you wish to gain re-entry to the UK after a 10-year ban, an immigration solicitor will be able to advise whether the decision was lawful and whether a judicial review would have a reasonable chance of success.

Applying for a UK visa after a re-entry ban

In most cases, once the period of the re-entry ban UK has been completed, a person can then apply for a new visa to come to the UK (e.g., applying for a visa after a 1, 2, or 5-year ban). Where a person received a 10-year re-entry ban, they may be refused entry or leave (i.e., if applying for a UK visa after a 10-year ban) even after the ban period is completed if:

  • the Secretary of State personally directed they be excluded from the UK
  • they received an exclusion order or a deportation order

This is because a person who is subject to an exclusion or deportation order cannot enter the UK regardless of any re-entry ban period being completed.

If any of these circumstances apply to you, speak to one of our immigration solicitors, who will be able to review your case and advise on the options available to you to come to the UK.

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